Letters To The Editor: July 2023

Reader Contributed | July 2, 2023

After the passing of a good friend, Tim Shubert (above) went to the upper end of Lake Oconee to go fishing and reflect on his buddy, Howard Goss (pictured below). Tim was blessed with a haul of flathead catfish.

Remembering Howard Goss From Goss Sporting Goods

Dear GON,

I’m writing this in memory of Bill “Howard” Goss. He passed away from cancer on May 20, 2023. Howard was well-known in Madison County as the owner of Goss Sporting Goods, which he opened in the 1970s to provide the people of northeast Georgia with hunting licenses, bait, guns, tackle, camo and on occasion BBQ sandwiches or his momma’s ham biscuits. Many men hung around his store and talked hunting and fishing for hours. There, they could find advice, an audience for their bragging and sympathy with some ribbing thrown in when sharing misses.

Bowhunting and shooting guns were two of Howard’s favorite pastimes, and he was pretty good at both. He was known for his marksmanship. Howard could shoot skeet with a rifle or flip a nickel in the air and hit it. Many years he would make a dove field and invite a crowd, including his friend Harry, the local game warden.

I have fond memories of Howard Goss. He would say, “You can’t kill big bucks if you shoot them when they’re little.” He also taught me how to catch big flathead catfish. He was good at it.

A few days after his funeral, I went fishing in Greene County to reflect on our good times. The Lord blessed me with four nice flatheads: one of them weighed 19 pounds, two were 32 pounds, and the fourth was a 40-pounder. In my mind, I could hear Goss on the front of the boat chuckling as I reeled them in.

My last favorite memory of this good man happened two days before he passed. He said the best thing to happen to him (and he lived an adventurous life) was receiving Christ. That’s where we find our hope—in the risen Savior Jesus Christ. The adventures are not over.

Tim Shubert, Hull


Thanks GON For Putting Us On The West Point Crappie

Dear GON,

Thank you for a great article by Ronnie Garrison on Payton Caldwell catching 485 crappie on a fishing trip in May. I read it a couple of times and decided I needed to call Payton and book a trip for me and a great friend of mine. I booked a trip for June 6.

From the first call until we launched the boat, I was so impressed with how professional and personable Payton was. Four hours later and 120 crappie and four bass boated, (60 of the crappie released to be caught another day), both me and my buddy were really impressed with Payton’s knowledge and ability to put you on the fish.

If you are looking for a ton of fun at a very reasonable price, please give Payton a call. I have been a long-time GON subscriber, and I remember well the article about Payton’s grandfather catching 273 crappie at West Point 20 years ago. Thanks for a great magazine.

Rick Tomei, Temple


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Bo Wooten, 13, with a 8.3-lb. bass, sent in by Brian Wooten @dawgolffan.

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